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Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

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The Cross - "I" Crossed out

The sign most associated with the Christian faith is a cross. I heard a suggestion that it stood for the “I” being crossed out of our lives. I think this is a helpful suggestion as the call of Christianity to men and women is to self-surrender to the will of God. This is certainly not a popular idea these days. Superficially, this looks like the denial of the rights of self-determination. We like to argue that our wills are our own responsibility, and to abdicate that right is to refuse the primary duty of self-hood. We cling to our duty or privilege of ordering our life in our own way. We dislike any attempt at dictatorship of our wills. Yet that attitude is based on a misunderstanding. When we surrender our wills to God we do not lose them, we discover them again in a new fulness. When we are learning to swim for example, we often cling tenaciously to some definite link with solid earth. We dislike the idea of trusting ourselves to the uncertain medium of seven feet of water. Yet we shall never know the thrill of the free movement of the true swimmer until we launch out and trust ourselves to the sure support of the sea. In the same way, when we launch our little lives into the great ocean of God we do not lose our power of self-determination, we find it in a finer and more wonderful medium. I do not lose my wisdom when I seek God’s wisdom, I bring mine into touch with a higher than my own. It is still my wisdom and judgement that are exercised in my surrendered life. Only I am moving in a wider liberty. Jesus’ word to the fishermen of Galilee is still a call to us today. “Launch out into the deep.” “He that loses his life for My sake shall find it” – greater abundance.

John

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